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Indonesia's glowing stamps; Japan's heritage
07/05/2001 (21:00)

Indonesia's glowing stamps; Japan's heritage

ByDenise McCarty/Linnšs

Looking at a recent set of Indonesian stamps under ultraviolet light will reveal faces behind masks. Pos Indonesia (the Indonesian post office) issued the set of 10 Masks stamps and a souvenir sheet March 2. The 10 stamps are in se-tenant pairs with different designs side by side. Each pair features the same mask, with half of the mask shown on one stamp and the other half on the second stamp. Shown nearby are two pairs of Masks stamps. Both pairs are pictured under normal light and under longwave ultraviolet light.

Indonesia's 900-rupiah pair featuring a Hudoq mask is shown under normal light (top) and under ultraviolet light (bottom). Some of the face behind the mask is revealed under UV light.

The printer, Perum Peruri, used a fluorescent ink to make the face behind the mask visible under ultraviolet light, according to information from Pos Indonesia. Actually, the image seems to be more of an outline with some shading than a complete picture of a face. Also visible under ultraviolet light is the Pos Indonesia emblem. On the illustrated 900-rupiah pair, the emblem can be seen eight times.

This pair depicts a Hudoq mask of East Kalimantan. Male dancers wore this wooden mask during rice-planting and harvest festivals. The mask represents the spirit of the rice. This mask also is shown on the 5,000rp stamp in the souvenir sheet.

The illustrated 800rp pair features a dance mask from Cirebon, West Java. This moonlike mask is made from wood that has been painted and sanded to a glossy finish. Pictured to the left and right of the masks on both pairs is a black-and-white image of a person wearing the mask.

The other three pairs in the set follow the same design format. These stamps depict an Arsa Wijaya mask of Bali (500rp), an Asmat mask of Irian Jaya (800rp) and a Wayang Wong mask of Yogyakarta (900rp).

Another stamp pair from Indonesia's Mask set is portrayed under normal and UV light.

Triadi Margono designed the stamps and souvenir sheets. They were printed by a combination of offset and gravure in panes of 20. Offset is a transfer process, and gravure is a direct, recess process using multiple cylinders, one for each ink.

Indonesia also made creative use of fluorescent ink on a set of four stamps reflecting the changing roles of Pos Indonesia in the 21st century. These stamps were issued Dec. 20, 2000. The 800rp value represents Pos Indonesia's philatelic services. This stamp features a stamp-on-stamp design of 1989 World Wildlife Fund stamps picturing orangutans.

In the design, a hand is holding two of the stamps. When viewed under ultraviolet light, the hand is outlined in a glowing aquamarine color. The outline of a personal computer glows on the 1,000rp stamp representing financial matters. The other two stamps, when viewed under ultraviolet light, reveal shining suns.

The 900rp denomination depicts a satellite, a world map, a personal computer screen and an envelope franked with stamps. This design symbolizes communications in the 21st century. The 4,000rp value, representing logistical services, shows a jet, a computer and Earth in addition to the sun. Cipta Arta Bandung designed the stamps. Aria Multi Graphia printed them in sheets of 100.

The hand glows on this Indonesian stamp when viewed under UV light. The stamp, featuring Indonesia's philatelic services, is part of a set showing the post office's changing roles.

The addresses of Indonesia's bureau and its new-issue agency in the United States are: Divisi Filateli, Philatelic Division, Jalan Cilaki No. 73, Bandung 40115, Indonesia; Interpost, Box 378, Malverne, NY 11565.


Japan introduced a new series of World Heritage stamps Feb. 23. The series features Japanese sites that were registered on the World Heritage list after 1994. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's World Heritage Committee places natural and cultural sites on the list. Other Japanese World Heritage sites are pictured on stamps in a series issued in 1994 and 1995 (Scott 2447-54).

The first stamps in the new series commemorate the shrines and temples of Nikko, which were inscribed on the list in 1999. UNESCO provides the following brief description: "The Nikko shrines and temples, together with their natural surroundings, have for centuries formed a sacred site known for its architectural and decorative masterpieces. They are closely associated with the history of the Tokugawa shoguns."

The second set of stamps in Japan's new World Heritage series features the Shinto shrine on the island of Itsukushima. These two se-tenant 80-yen stamps are part of a pane of 10.

The stamps were issued in panes of 10, somewhat similar to those in the 20th Century Museum series of 1999-2000. The pane contains 10 different 80-yen stamps with some designs se-tenant. The border area includes a large picture of the shrine, the title of the series in English and Japanese and a list of the stamp subjects in Japanese. In addition to showing shrines and temples, the stamps depict artwork found at these places, such as the cat on the stamp pictured nearby.

A similar pane of 10 80y stamps was issued March 23 to showcase Itsukushima Jinga, which was designated as a World Heritage site in 1996. UNESCO's description reads: "The island of Itsukushima, in the inland sea of Seto, has been the holy place of Shintoism since the earliest times. Its first temples were probably built in the 6th century.

A sleeping cat is pictured on an 80-yen stamp in Japan's new World Heritage series.

"The present shrine dates from the 13th century and its harmoniously arranged buildings show great artistic and technical qualities. The shrine plays on the contrasts of colors and shapes between sea and mountains and perfectly illustrates the Japanese idea of scenic beauty, combining nature and human creativity."

Motoharu Morita designed the stamps and panes in the new World Heritage series. Most of the designs are based on photographs. The Japanese Ministry of Finance Stamp Printing Office printed 3 million each of the two panes.

The addresses of Japan's bureau and its new-issue agency in the United States are: Tokyo Central Post Office, Philatelic Section, CPO Box 888, Tokyo, 100-8692, Japan; Interpost, Box 378, Malverne, NY 11565.

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